Trump Pursued White Nationalist Agenda, But Calls Black Reporter‘s Question ‘Racist’

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PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor (YouTube screengrab)

didn’t take a day before President Donald Trump was back to his old trick of starting distracting fights with the media. Trump just couldn’t let the Democrats bask in the fact they had taken back the House and won their biggest electoral victory in 44 years. No, he had to try and seize the news cycle back. (That’s all he really cares about.)

Last week, he held two crazy press conferences where he managed to insult three black reporters. He also got into a high-profile fight with CNN reporter Jim Acosta, released a doctored “InfoWars” video, and eventually barred Acosta from the White House.

But let’s concentrate on the women for now. He called veteran reporter April Ryan, a loser, branded CNN reporter Abby Phillip’s question about the Russia investigation “stupid” and called PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor’s question about his use of the word nationalist, “racist.”

However, what he failed to do is answer any of these questions. Trump used a familiar tactic to dodge the media. He blew up at the reporter and tried to get them to avoid the subject in the future.

But Trump’s comment about Alcindor is particularly interesting. He sounds like the comments section of a right-wing website. Back in the days when I used to try and engage Republicans in debate online, I also encountered this. I’ve learned that any time you try to bring up America’s racial problems and disparities, some right-wingers will try to shut you down by accusing you of being racist.

I’ve patiently explained to these people that they don’t understand the meaning of the word and urged them to look it up. Sometimes, I even sent them a link containing a definition of the word.

However, some right-wingers seem to believe that if black people would only quit talking about racism, it would magically disappear. But America does have racial divisions. I thought those problems were improving, but Trump has exploited them and only made things worse. People of color are acutely aware of this.

However, Trump has brought accusations of being a white nationalist upon himself. Looking at his policy of legalized ethnic cleansing, an attempted Muslim ban and attempts to crack down of legal immigration from “sh*thole countries,” it’s clear what his goals are — to Make America White Again.

African Americans see the stories of increasing white supremacist activity, of a Trump supporter mailing pipe bombs to prominent black politicians, and of a domestic terrorist being arrested for frequent threats directed at CNN’s Don Lemon. Those problems won’t go away by pretending they don’t exist.

However, Trump has brought accusations of being a white nationalist upon himself. Looking at his policy of legalized ethnic cleansing, an attempted Muslim ban and attempts to crack down on legal immigration from “sh*thole countries,” it’s clear what his goals are — to Make America White Again.

He also has a long history of documented racist attacks on black people. This includes being sued for racial discrimination by the Department of Justice, encouraging the death penalty for a group of black and brown teens accused of rape, and making disparaging comments about black contestants on “The Apprentice.” And while he was attacking former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, he also claimed the president used affirmative action to get into Harvard, because he wasn’t smart enough to do it on his own merit.

Ryan said the president seems to hold black women in particular in contempt.

“When Trump says Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has a ‘low I.Q.’ he’s showing contempt for the idea that a black woman, who has sworn an oath to uphold the same Constitution as he, should be able to speak her mind if she in any way challenges his authority,” said Ryan in a Washington Post column. “When he feuded with Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) over his response to the death of her constituent, LaDavid Johnson, an African American Army sergeant killed in action, he failed to live up to his role as commander in chief. When he says Stacey Abrams, a Yale Law School graduate and former Democratic leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, is ‘not qualified’ to be her state’s governor, he’s applying a double standard. When he feuded, via Twitter, with Jemele Hill, the National Association of Black Journalists’ 2018 journalist of the year (an award I was honored with in 2017) Trump telegraphed that there’s something about being questioned by a black woman that he can’t abide.”

At this stage, we all know what Trump is. Asking if he’s a white nationalist is a rhetorical question. The real question is why do so many Americans still support him?

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Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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